VOC and Chemical Air Pollution
and Sick Building Syndrome

Major primary chemical pollutants made by man include:

Sulfur Oxides (SOx)

Sulfur oxides, especially sulfur dioxide, a chemical compound with the formula SO2. SO2 is produced by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide. Further oxidation of SO2, usually in the presence of a catalyst such as NO2, forms H2SO4, and thus acid rain. This is one of the causes for concern over the environmental impact of the use of these fuels as power sources.

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

Nitrogen Oxides, especially nitrogen dioxide, are emitted from high temperature combustion. Can be seen as the brown haze dome above or plume downwind of cities. Nitrogen dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula NO2. It is one of the several nitrogen oxides. This reddish-brown toxic gas has a characteristic sharp, biting odor. NO2 is one of the most prominent air pollutants.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, non-irritating but very poisonous gas. It is a product by incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, coal or wood inside the house. Vehicular exhaust is a major source of carbon monoxide outside the house.

What Are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)?

VOCs are an important outdoor air pollutant. In this field they are often divided into the separate categories of methane (CH4) and non-methane (NMVOCs). Methane is an extremely efficient greenhouse gas which contributes to enhanced global warming. Other hydrocarbon VOCs are also significant greenhouse gases via their role in creating ozone and in prolonging the life of methane in the atmosphere, although the effect varies depending on local air quality. Within the NMVOCs, the aromatic compounds benzene, toluene and xylene are suspected carcinogens and may lead to leukemia through prolonged exposure. 1,3-butadiene is another dangerous compound which is often associated with industrial uses.

Inside the house, VOCs are invisible gases which are emitted from paints, adhesives, carpeting, wall coverings, new furniture, building materials, solvents, cleaning solutions, copy machines and laser printers. Studies using experimental chambers have shown that VOCs can cause irritation of the respiratory system in humans and animals. Controlled experiments with people who suffer from Sick Building Syndrome confirm that VOC exposure can cause headache, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Dozens of VOCs have been identified in residential air. Some of the VOCs found in indoor air, such as benzene derivatives, may promote cancer in humans. Concern over the safety of cleaning solutions and VOCs has created a demand for less toxic alternatives.

We offer two air purifier brands that are proven to be effective at removing chemicals and VOCs:

FREE Monthly Newsletters

We publish four FREE monthly email newsletters: Click Here to Subscribe to One or More Newsletters

  • Inspired Lifestyles News - Inspiring, motivating and empowering quotes, stories and articles
  • Healthy Lifestyles News - Articles, resources and products for living a healthier, more vibrant life
  • Inspired Biz News - Articles and resources for a more spiritual, whole-living work environment
  • InspiredLiving.com News & Sale Announcements - Sales events, new products and specials